As a treat for those who glance at my blog from time to time, may I introduce Lore Ferguson Wilbert through this post of hers, which I took the liberty of guest-blogging here?
I have known Lore (pronounced Lor-ee) through her writing for some years now. She has become a contributing editor at Christianity Today, oversees her own writing classes, and has a new book recently published. She began her writing career as a modest blogger with a heart-felt personal touch, and an original purpose of working through some personal pain. Finding that pain is with us throughout our lives only sharpened her writing.
Give yourself a treat and sample her heart by casting a glance her way.
“But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18
May the peace of our Lord be with you.
HE MADE US TO GROW
Are you weary yet of all the illustrations we can make with nature for our lives? Too bad. Here’s another one. God put us in a garden, amongst seasons and roots and leaves and shoots and fruits and fallows and soil and labor and groans and birth and death and he did it all for a reason. Here is the reason I’m finding today:
Last fall a friend stopped by for tea on her way home from the local plant nursery and brought with her a small plant with an orange flower for which I do not know the exact name but which I have been meagerly nourishing with water when I remember since then. She has remained in her small green plastic nursery pot which I plopped into an old pewter tureen I picked up from a thrift store for a few bucks. Nothing about her is glorious (save the friend who brought her to me at a time when I needed the reminder of being loved and seen and known and remembered).
Today I picked her up for her once in a while watering and noticed she’s been a bit more wild and green recently (the spring air does us all some good), so I dug around in our garage for a slightly larger terra-cotta pot and pulled her root-bound butt out of that old plastic thing and gave her a new little home for a while. We’ll see how she does. (I think she’ll do fine.)
We’re all feeling a bit root-bound these days, aren’t we? Our extremities pushed up against our limitations—whatever green plastic nursery pot we call home. Reaching as high and wide as we can for a breath, for some sun, for some food, some water, some love.
A friend is coming over tomorrow and we will sit far apart from one another on our front porch, but, I warned her, I plan on hugging her. I have to. The need to hug her and the need she has to be hugged outweighs the need to be safe for those twenty seconds. We will turn our heads away, don’t worry, and we won’t linger, don’t worry, but our need to remember what we are (bodies, souls, minds, hearts—incomplete if we only exercise the one or the two or even the three) supersedes our need to remain distant for those twenty seconds. Our personal sorrows have caught up with our resilience to do it alone and we remember we are but created things and created things are not good alone.
This week two friends have babies and another friend loses hers. A friend has cancer and another friend broke up. A friend heard good news (nay, great news!) and another friend received crushing news. Life hasn’t stopped just because so much around us has. Our bodies still produce and press and push and persevere and preserve and at some point we are pressed so hard against our current limitations that something must give.
There is plenty to be said for living within our limitations but this little ditty is about admitting sometimes we can’t. Sometimes we just. We just. We just can’t.
I don’t know what that means for your life today. For me, it means I will hug my friend for twenty seconds, perhaps thirty. I am compelled by something greater than myself to do so. A need I can’t even describe or defend. It will happen. It must. Again, I don’t know what it means for your life today, but if your sorrow today has caught up with your resilience and begun to surpass it, I think that’s okay. I think God knows we’re just plants in pots and he made us to grow.
Lore Ferguson Wilbert